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Positive Discipline



What is Positive Discipline?

Positive Discipline is a program designed to support parents (& other caregivers) in teaching young people to become responsible, respectful and resourceful members of their communities.


Dr. Jane Nelsen’s Positive Discipline parent education is based on the theories of psychologists Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs (learn more about Adlerian Psychology). Positive Discipline helps your child feel a sense of significance and belonging by learning important life skills of empowerment, self-reliance and cooperation. This parenting style encourages kindness and firmness at the same time.




Recent research tells us that children are “hardwired” from birth to connect with others, and that children who feel a sense of connection to their community, family, and school are less likely to misbehave. To be successful,  contributing members of their community, children must learn necessary social and life skills.


Positive Discipline is based on the understanding that discipline must be taught and that discipline teaches.

"Where did we get the crazy idea that in order for children to do better, we have to make them feel worse first.

Children do better when they feel better."

- Jane Nelsen
Author, Positive Discipline

** Course / Workshop Details Coming Soon!

Jane Nelsen gives the following criteria for effective discipline that teaches:

5 Criteria of PD - 2.webp

The Positive Discipline Parenting model is aimed at developing mutually respectful relationships. Positive Discipline teaches adults to employ kindness and firmness at the same time, and is neither punitive nor permissive.

Kindness is the way we interact and connect with our children, honoring their dignity and respecting their needs.

Firmness is the way we respect ourselves and the needs of the situation, as well as following through with what we say we are going to do.

The tools and concepts of Positive Discipline include:

  • Mutual respect. Adults model firmness by respecting themselves and the needs of the situation, and kindness by respecting the needs of the child.

  • Identifying the belief behind the behaviour. Effective discipline recognizes the reasons kids do what they do and works to change those beliefs, rather than merely attempting to change behaviour.

  • Effective communication and problem solving skills.

  • Discipline that teaches (and is neither permissive nor punitive).

  • Focusing on solutions instead of punishment.

  • Encouragement (instead of praise). Encouragement notices effort and improvement, not just success, and builds long-term self-esteem and empowerment.


Unique characteristics of the Positive Discipline Model (Workshops) also include:

  • Teaching through experiential activities. Creating opportunity to practice new skills and to have fun learning by doing.

  • Classroom discipline programs and parent education programs that are consistent. Parents, teachers, and childcare providers can work together to provide a secure, consistent environment for children.

  • Inexpensive training and ongoing support so members of communities can teach each other Positive Discipline skills.

  •  Certified trainers across the globe who can work with schools and communities.

What is Adlerian Psychology?

Positive Discipline is based on the work of Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs, called Adlerian Psychology. Alfred Adler was a psychiatrist who lived between 1870 and 1937. What we love about Adler is that he advocated for equality of all people. He believed that everyone (including children) deserved dignity and respect. Rudolf Dreikurs continued to promote the work of Adler and added his own research to Adlerian theory, passing away in 1972.


A theme of Adlerian psychology is that a misbehaving child is a discouraged child. The most powerful motivation for change is encouragement. If a child—or adult—misbehaves out of discouragement, it follows that the motive for misbehavior is removed when he or she feels encouraged.

Here’s what Adler said about beliefs behind behavior…

" Children make decisions about themselves and how to behave based on how they see themselves in relationship to others and how they perceive others feel about them. They are striving (out of awareness) for significance and belonging.


Significance, meaning 'I matter - I can contribute' and belonging, meaning 'I am connected to others.'

Adleran Psych

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​We acknowledge that the land on which we​ live and​ provide care is the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō, and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

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